Upcoming VR and AR Headsets Compared 2018-01-24T15:17:03+00:00

Upcoming VR and AR Headsets Compared

OCULUS SANTA CRUZ

Release date: Early 2018
Price: Not announced yet
Resolution: Not announced yet

The Facebook VR headset definitely became an industry standard, and Oculus hire is a popular option for both corporate events and parties. Of Facebook’s two new virtual reality headsets, one is codenamed the ‘Santa Cruz’ and speculated to be the more powerful one with better graphics.

It has been described as a streamlined model, both more advanced and also simpler to use. As a standalone device it does not need a separate PC or a complicated setup which makes virtual reality hire even easier. The cameras associated with a virtual reality setup are included inside the headset itself. These contain the motion-tracking infrared LEDs that interact with the improved motion controllers.

The biggest advantage of this next-generation virtual reality headset is that it’s completely wireless, which gives a greater freedom of movement and allows for deeper immersion.

OCULUS GO

Release date: Early 2018
Price: $199
Resolution: 2560×1440 per eye

Described by Facebook as the “affordable virtual reality device”, this is the second of the next-gen Oculus releases. It is also a standalone VR device, and comes with a single simple controller.

One of the most frequent troubles with long-term VR use is that humidity builds up in the mask, but the Oculus Go uses a breathable mesh fabric that should help. This will make hiring an Oculus for your event more agreeable. It also going to provide “significantly reduced glare” with improved lenses compared to the original.

The Oculus Go has built-in ‘spatial audio’ speakers rather than headphones, so they will broadcast the audio to everyone nearby. However you can still plug into the 3.5mm headphone socket for privacy in your virtual environment.

HTC VIVE PRO

Release date: Late 2018
Price: Not announced yet
Resolution: 1400 x 1600 per eye, 615 ppi

The Vive Pro looks more bulky than previous models. Even the built-in headphones look chunkier. However it is going to be lighter than the original HTC Vive, with increased resolution.

While Oculus is leaving behind PC dependency, the Vive Pro is going to continue to rely on the graphic processing power of a dedicated PC. However they innovated, providing a wireless adapter that will connect to a powerful PC and free the wearer from wires. According to the manufacturers there is no noticeable latency.

It seems HTC are still relying on the ‘Lighthouse’ modules, which are the black cubes placed on tripod stands at the corners of the VR space to detect the locations of the headset and controllers. However they have at least developed a way to make them sturdier and cheaper to produce, meaning they’ll be less prone to breaking and easier to replace when they do. As always, all our staff are going to be fully trained on setting up this VR rental.

On the other hand the headset clearly has forward-facing cameras whose purpose is not currently clear.

META AUGMENTED REALITY HEADSET

Release date: Currently available
Price: $1,495
Resolution: 2.5k

Meta has pitched the Meta 2 augmented reality device as a workspace solution, focusing on developers. A 90 degree field of view becomes populated by browser windows and apps that you can manipulate with your hands.

For a 360 degree immersive virtual reality headset the wire connection would be a setback but for a workspace it is less relevant. It can also be connected via the PC to a keyboard, mouse, and even other mobile devices.

You’re unlikely to see a Meta headset for virtual reality hire. There is limited compatibility with other AR or VR devices and the high price means that for now this is best suited to developers. This is a risky practice in a fast-moving industry.

WINDOWS MIXED REALITY HEADSETS

WMR does not yet have the support and app marketplace available to the more established models, however with Microsoft development behind it this will probably change quickly. All the headsets are easy to set up: promising under 10 minutes of setup, shipped with standard Microsoft controllers monitored by built-in cameras, and all plugged in via HDMI and USB 3.0 cables to a reasonably powerful laptop (which we can provide with VR rental). But as more advanced brands leave cables behind entirely this easy setup becomes less relevant.

Ultimately the differences between WMR headsets are aesthetic – both external hardware designs, and internal graphic processors.

DELL VISOR

Release date: Currently available
Price: £350
Resolution: 1440 x 1440 per eye

Dell has pitched their virtual reality headset as the ‘comfortable’ option. All straps and the headset are padded, while also leaving enough room for people wearing glasses.

HP MIXED REALITY

Release date: Currently available
Price: £379.99
Resolution: 2880 x 1440

While the resolution of the HP is higher, the field of view is also a few degrees narrower. Without Dell’s comfort or the wider ranges of more pricey models, this is definitely one of the least remarkable WMR headsets.

ACER MIXED REALITY HMD

Release date: Currently available
Price: £399.99
Resolution: 1440 x 1440 per eye

The blue, blocky, flimsy design of the Acer headset has made it the least attractive model of the WMR range, but it offers 110 degree field of vision.

LENOVO EXPLORER

Release date: (To be confirmed)
Price: £399.99
Resolution: 1440 x 1440

While matching the Acer model in price and ability, it looks much better and reportedly feels a lot lighter.

ASUS HC102

Release date: Currently available
Price: £449
Resolution: 2880 x 1440 per eye

The Asus VR headset is light, convenient to wear, and the visor looks much more sophisticated and elegant than the Acer version. The higher resolution per eye also makes a profound difference.

SAMSUNG ODYSSEY HMD

Release date: Currently available
Price: $499.99 (not available in Europe)
Resolution: 1600 x 1400

Samsung has more experience with VR headsets, having previously produced the Samsung Gear. While the Odyssey is the heaviest WMR headset it is also undoubtedly the prettiest both inside and out. While the resolution isn’t higher, the color vibrancy and depth provided by Samsung explains why this is the most expensive of the WMR headsets.